Bigger Than Jordan?

If you asked me what LeBron James would need to do to surpass Michael Jordan’s excellence, I would say something like “better three point shooting.” But via FreeDarko, Ray Allen has something else in mind:

“Mike paved the way for all of us to open up the endorsement door,” said Celtics star Ray Allen, another Jordan Brand athlete. “But the one thing that Mike never was is political. I think in today’s era, the NBA player has an even greater podium if he chooses to use it. And with Barack Obama being the first black president, it’s a great forum. I think that would separate him from anybody who’s done this. … It’s great to be a basketball player, but to transcend sports is a big responsibility. If he were able to pull that off — if he wants to pull that off — I think that would set him apart.”

I think there’s something to that. Obviously, I doubt anyone would particularly care what LeBron thinks about negotiating with Iran, and a certain number of people in Hollywood tend to push political engagement to the point where it’s annoying. But LeBron, like a lot of athletes, is actually in a position to offer an interesting perspective on wealth and poverty and economic opportunity in the United States.

Of course for all I know what LeBron’s concluded from that perspective is that marginal tax rates on the wealthy ought to be low….